Saturday, January 23, 2010

Serpent Gate

A Kevin Kearney Novel
Michael McGarrity

Michael McGarrity was recommended to me on a "what are you reading" thread on the FDP. His Kevin Kearney series of crime novels are set in New Mexico. Beyond sharing a state, they bear no resemblance to Tony Hillerman. Kevin Kearny is a reluctantly violent action hero. The death toll in Serpents Gate is Shakespearean in scope.

Years ago, when I was planning a visit to New Mexico, someone introduced me to Tony Hillerman's novels. Reading them colored my expectations of the visit. Other than the violence, Kearny's New Mexico more accurately reflects my actual experience. His Santa Fe is full of tourist traps, art galleries and corrupt politicians. His small towns have empty store fronts and cheap cafes. Kearny did not visit the Navajo reservation in this story, and neither did I.

Serpent Gate involves the theft of art from the office of the Governor of New Mexico, a Mexican drug lord a homeless schizophrenic and a large animal veterinarian. It was interesting to see Santa Fe and the small town of Mountainair (which I didn't visit) through McGarrity's eyes. The story wasn't bad either.

The reader has a semi omniscient point of view so there is no mystery involved. I guess that makes this a "police procedural" novel, although no police would ever proceed the way McGarrity's protagonist did, not if they wanted to stay out of jail themselves, possibly one in Mexico, but I digress.


  1. I love this series... have read most of them, I think. Great reminder of a fun read.

    Bill ;-)

    Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:

  2. Thanks Bill, I'm now following your blog.


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